“We know they talk, breathe, walk and sound like themselves,” Darla Black, the mother of Huynh’s fiancé, told CNN on Friday.
“I have your son standing by my side,” Bunny Drueke recalled a woman from the US embassy in Saudi Arabia telling her.
The families were unaware that the prisoner swap was underway.
“My mind just couldn’t grasp it because there had been no warning. It just came out of the blue,” Drueke’s mother told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Huynh’s fiancée, Joy Black, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that Huynh asked for spaghetti with meat — a meal he’d been craving since he was in Ukraine — once he returns to Alabama.
Even after they were captured, their families said the men said they had no regrets about fighting the Ukrainians.
“Alex told me emphatically no, no regrets,” his aunt Dianna Shaw told CNN. “They really want people to understand that Ukraine needs our support. They need the support of all democratic nations. They need democracies to come together and push (Russian President Vladimir) Putin back.”
“The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything but part of Ukraine. Russia’s referenda are a sham – a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force, in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter,” Biden said. said in a statement.
Shawna Mizelle and Sam Fossum of CNN contributed to this report.